Prepare to be swept up in the excitement of Christmas as Ballet Papier presents the very first ever paper ballet company’s debut performance of ‘The Nutcracker’!
This festive ballet was choreographed by Lev Ivanov to music composed by Tchaikovsky. The story was written by Marius Petipa, who found inspiration in a German tale from E.T.A Hoffman entitled ‘Nutcracker and Mouse King’. Since its premiere at the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg in 1892, ‘The Nutcracker’ has become a Christmas favourite and it is many children’s first experience of seeing a ballet.
From the moment the curtain opens, the ballet captures the spirit of the season. The stage is splendidly adorned with sumptuous decorations and a magnificent Christmas tree takes pride of place for a scene of merriment at a Christmas Eve party. Anticipation is in the air as the guests exchange gifts and young Clara is delighted to be presented with a painted wooden Nutcracker doll.
Long after the gathering is over, Clara creeps out of bed and tiptoes back downstairs to check on her special Nutcracker doll. Happily, he is exactly where she had left him. However, the familiar room is mysteriously different. The clock strikes midnight and suddenly the beautifully-decorated Christmas tree begins to grow taller and taller. Out of nowhere, a terrifying gang of villainous mice appears, startling Clara.
As she begins to tremble with fear, an army of toy soldiers miraculously snaps to attention and rushes to defend her. The Nutcracker, too, springs to life and rallies his troops in a dramatic battle against the mice. At a critical moment, Clara intervenes by throwing her slipper at the evil Mouse King. This stops the rodent for a split-second, giving the Nutcracker just enough time to kill his adversary with one thrust of his sword. Defeated, the mice withdraw.
Relieved that her Nutcracker is safe, Clara is enchanted by the magic that she has just witnessed. Before she has the opportunity to think, she is whisked off on a wondrous journey through the glistening Land of Snow. Here, spinning and sliding snowflakes glide gracefully around, their astonishing speed making them fly in all directions in a flurry of icy spectacle.
Emerging from the snowstorm, Clara travels on towards the fantastic Kingdom of Sweets, where she encounters a cast of captivating characters who each dance for her. A simply stunning procession of scrumptious sweets entertain Clara, before the elegant Dewdrop Fairy leads a bouquet of candy-coloured flowers through a lilting waltz. Finally, after this cascade of weaving blossoms, comes the delicate dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
‘The Nutcracker’ is the perfect Christmas treat – there is nothing quite as lovely as being able to immerse yourself in the magic as Clara’s dreams come true. Her amazing adventure creates memories that will stay with her forever and the ballet has a place in every balletomane’s heart – whether you are in the audience every year or have even had the chance to perform in a production.
Additionally, of course, Tchaikovsky’s score includes some of the most recognisable ballet tunes (the Waltz of the Flowers, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy), while the imaginative settings and costumes are a delight.
Do not miss the Ballet Papier Company’s production of ‘The Nutcracker’ this Christmas – the show premieres on 20th December 2014.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
x Georgina x